Up until today I had a very short list of people stored in my mind. They were ordered from bad to worst, amongst the bitter memories I have of them. Before today, if asked, I would have told anyone that upon seeing any one of the people on that list, there was going to be a definite problem, beginning with the police questioning me as to why I brutally assaulted the sighted person. Before today, I’d dreamed, fantasized, and talked cash money shit about how much I was going to enjoy whooping the asses of the people on my list; channeling every bit of Beatrix Kiddo that I could muster. Then today, I saw one of them…
I was on the train on the way to work as usual. As the train slowed to a halt at the Five Points station, number two, Anthony Rogers, sauntered into my view with some of his, what I assume to be, co-workers. They looked as if they were about to walk onto the “employees only” section of the tracks to inspect them or something of that nature. They were all wearing little orange guest badges on their waist. My mouth dropped when I realized it was him. The train doors opened and he was standing all of 3 steps left of the opening. My mind began to race.
“What do I do? I could do it….I could run out and knock him on his ass before he even realized that I was coming.”
All at once I felt a rush of adrenaline surge through my veins. My face tightened, my teeth clenched, and my fist balled itself.
“I can’t…I’ll be late for work. And there are too many witnesses and cameras. And I know for sure I’ll be arrested and charged. Maybe I can just get off the train and talk shit. Yea…he can’t do anything about me talking shit…”
Just as I’d arrived at my final decision to talk shit and rustle his feathers, the train doors closed. Like that, my opportunity was gone. The moment that I’d fantasized about so vividly and frequently came and went as if it had never even presented itself. I felt a lump growing in my throat.
“Why am I sad all of a sudden…”
I realized that I was disappointed in myself. I realized that all my shit talking had been in vein. As my friends would say “I ain’t bout that life…” apparently. I replayed the moment in my mind over and over again the rest of the day; trying to determine why I hadn’t acted on my initial impulse. Then it dawned on me that I never really wanted to hurt those people on my list at all. I just wanted them to know that they had hurt me. I wanted to force them to acknowledge and apologize for their intentional torts against me. I wanted to make them face what they had done. “Fuck…when did I become an adult?”. The sudden realization washed over me; making me feel icky, soft, and vulnerable. “Now what do I do…”
I’d started to include a very detailed expose on the listees, and the bitter memories that they’d caused in this writing, but my judgement got the best of me instead. I am reminded of an adage that goes “forgiveness is not for them, it’s for you”. In addition, letting things go seems to be the lesson that I am supposed to learn this year. Here again, I am reminded of few nuggets of wisdom that my peers have dropped on me. “You can’t be grown for grown folks…” my granny says. I wanted to teach them a lesson, but I realized that that is not my cross to bear. They are adults. They know that they should act better and it’s not my responsibility to teach them otherwise, especially now that I don’t even see these people or have to deal with them regularly. “Sometimes you just have to let folks make it [on their own]”- Kamm Perry-Reed I wanted to teach my listees better so that no one else would have to endure what they put me through and so that they, themselves, could live better lives; so that they, themselves, could avoid their own hurt. But, I am learning that wisdom can not be taught. It can only be gained. I take my satisfaction in knowing that Jeff Bello was “highly encouraged to retire” from the United States Air Force after a few racial flair ups, other than the ones between he and me. And Anthony Rogers was fired from AT&T U-Verse after numerous union complaints from his team. But that fuck nigga Carlos is still running in some of our mutual circles unscathed. Maybe his ass whooping is still loading. I won’t be the one to administer it though…I don’t think. We’ll see. Let’s just say I won’t look for a fight, but if the universe so chooses that I be in a position of self defense…I digress.
Seeing my number two, resurrected a lot of bitter history that I hadn’t previously recognized. I mean, I knew it was there, but the intense emotion that came with seeing him, let me know how unhealthy what I was holding on to was. I resolved that it was time to deal with it head on. I guess this is me getting the hate, resentment, and bitterness that I feel towards these people out of my system. This is me letting go…